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SM59 04-09-2019 10:10 AM

What to charge for my paintings
 
Hi,

I still consider myself a beginner in oil painting as I am still taking weekly classes at an Atelier art school. I have had friends approach me to buy some paintings but I have no clue what to charge. I have researched various formulas that can be used and I think I might prefer the cost per square inch calculation. I need advice on what initial cost per square inch would be reasonable ($0.50 / $0.75 / $1.00 etc.). The first painting I am selling is 16” x 20” on canvas. Any advice?

lorianikins 04-10-2019 10:18 AM

Re: What to charge for my paintings
 
You'll find many discussions related to this question by following these steps:
1. From the WetCanvas home page, go to Art Business.
2. Under "General Art Business", click "Browse this forum."
3. Then look on the right side for "Search this Forum."
4. Search for the key word "pricing."

theBongolian 04-10-2019 11:05 AM

Re: What to charge for my paintings
 
[quote=SM59]Hi,

I still consider myself a beginner in oil painting as I am still taking weekly classes at an Atelier art school. I have had friends /QUOTE]

When you're a beginner it's rare to have friends that are encouraging and supportive. Imo you can't put a square inch price on that kind of moral support

.

BeLing 04-10-2019 01:52 PM

Re: What to charge for my paintings
 
Start with $25-$50. Will that pay for the supplies? Don't try for a profit.

Then move up to $100. Stay there until you're out of school. It's a lot of fun to sell paintings, and see them hung outside a closet. And with the money, I hope you'll buy a few yourself. We artists encourage each other. And yes, strangers also buy our work at times!

SM59 04-10-2019 02:11 PM

Re: What to charge for my paintings
 
Thanks BeLing for that advice. It does sound reasonable to me.

contumacious 04-12-2019 01:53 PM

Re: What to charge for my paintings
 
If you plan to hang your art in a show or at a gallery or artist co-op in the 8 months to a year, you might start out pricing your work with enough room for the maximum commission you think you will encounter. That way your prices don't have to jump 100% overnight when / if that happens. You could call any potential venues and ask what their commission rate would be.

When you sell to friends and family, you can give them a 40% "gallery" discount which would be what you wanted to end up for yourself without a commission.

A $50 painting would be priced at $84 to allow for a 40% commission. Divide the amount you want by the sum of 100 less the commission - $50 / (100-60) = $83.33. Don't forget the cost of your frame. You need to use the same formula on what you paid for the frame and add that to the total price, so you don't lose money on it when paying the gallery / co-op commission.

Michael Lion 05-09-2019 07:50 PM

Re: What to charge for my paintings
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SM59
Hi,

I still consider myself a beginner in oil painting as I am still taking weekly classes at an Atelier art school. I have had friends approach me to buy some paintings but I have no clue what to charge. I have researched various formulas that can be used and I think I might prefer the cost per square inch calculation. I need advice on what initial cost per square inch would be reasonable ($0.50 / $0.75 / $1.00 etc.). The first painting I am selling is 16” x 20” on canvas. Any advice?


I give my paintings to friends for free, otherwise they will just get thrown out because they have no retail value and they just accumulate and take up space.

Harold Roth 05-10-2019 06:58 AM

Re: What to charge for my paintings
 
I don't think it's a good idea to get in the habit of throwing out paintings. I think all paintings have retail value; it's just a question of finding the buyer. I don't throw out paintings I no longer care for that never sold. I paint over them. Even if you use texture, you can oil up the painting and sand that off and reuse the support. As for giving paintings away, in the past year, I gave one to friends and the other to a charitable auction. I recently sold an old painting for full price, so you never know.

SM59 05-10-2019 09:50 AM

Re: What to charge for my paintings
 
I agree also that a painting should not be thrown out, rather paint over it. I did this with a few of my very first paintings. As for the one I originally posted this question for - I could have named any price and it would have sold at that. I did not want to take advantage of the emotional tie this painting had with my buyer and maybe for that reason it was hard to come up with a price. It being my first sale, would set the price for any future sales... er, that is hopeful future sales.

Michael Lion 05-11-2019 07:17 PM

Re: What to charge for my paintings
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Harold Roth
I don't throw out paintings I no longer care for that never sold. I paint over them. Even if you use texture, you can oil up the painting and sand that off and reuse the support.


I can afford to buy a new canvas panel. Blick sells them for hardly anything.

Harold Roth 05-13-2019 07:01 AM

Re: What to charge for my paintings
 
I like good supports. After a couple of years of painting on Blick's Premier canvas and having problems with slubs and strings stuck in the gesso, I tried Fredrix Pro Dixie, and there is no comparison. It is a much finer weave and no slubs. Also twice as much. Still cheaper than many other canvases, but I don't throw away a $20 support.

laf.art 05-15-2019 02:41 PM

Re: What to charge for my paintings
 
Neither do I, apart from the cost, I try not to be wasteful from an environmental viewpoint, also as others have said the texture is great to work with.
I also agree with theBongolian re: friends🙂

joesurfer 05-16-2019 11:46 AM

Re: What to charge for my paintings
 
Where i live in Florida, the gallery's charge the artist to put their work in the gallery. The artist has to pay up front to rent gallery space then has to work in the gallery once a month. Some gallery's also take a commission from sales. You will also be competing with many other local artists in the gallery. Best thing you can do is start your own gallery with a lot of shopping traffic.

joesurfer 05-16-2019 12:40 PM

Re: What to charge for my paintings
 
Always charge double what you need to pay for the painting and make good profit.

Ktmre 05-20-2019 06:54 AM

Re: What to charge for my paintings
 
The best advice I received is to think about how much would you need to receive not to feel badly about letting it go. Come up with a price by whatever means (square inch is a good starting place). Then think about selling it for that amount. Would you be happy or regret it? If you’d regret it then bump up the square inch price and see what it gets you.


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